Online:The Gathering Storm

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ON-qico-Zone Story.png Investigate a threat to Solitude and its king.
Zone: Western Skyrim
Zone StoryThis quest is part of the Zone Story
Quest Giver: Fennorian, Brondold
Location(s): Solitude, Western Skyrim Docks, Gorn's Lodge, Kilkreath Temple
Previous Quest: Bound in Blood
Next Quest: Dark Clouds Over Solitude
Concurrent Quest: Meridia's Brilliance
Reward: Ambritt's Iceflame
Very High Leveled Gold
XP Gain: Very High Experience XP
ID: 6467
Arriving in Solitude leaves you with a dead man and lot of questions
When I approached the gates of Solitude, a wounded man stumbled out, fleeing for his life. He left me a bundle of papers and told me to keep them safe before he died.

Quick Walkthrough[edit]

  1. Speak with Shield-Corporal Thjol.
  2. Read Brondold's Papers and investigate the leads.
  3. Find Lyris Titanborn at the Blue Palace.
  4. Meet with Queen Gerhyld.
  5. Question Greyga and Maugh.
  6. Gain access to and search Kasalla's Warehouse.
  7. Travel to Gorn's Lodge and search for signs of laborers or shipment.
  8. Report back to Lyris and head to Kilkreath Temple.
  9. Escort Fennorian while investigating the area.
  10. Lead Fennorian to his equipment for further tests.
  11. Talk to Lyris Titanborn.
  12. Head to the nearby ruin and confront Sister Ambritt.
  13. Talk to Fennorian and Lyris.

Detailed Walkthrough[edit]

Welcome to Solitude[edit]

There are three ways you can begin the quest: you can pick it up from the Stories tab in the Collections menu, agreeing to warn Solitude after escaping the coven in Deepwood Barrow, or you can travel to Solitude via the automatically-unlocked wayshrine or a caravan from another city. However you arrive, a heavily injured man will run up to you and ask for your help. The man, Brondold, has difficulty speaking and little time to spare.

"Ugh, there's no time. Take this. Keep it safe."
Wait, what are you giving me?
"Information. The Icereach Coven … at work in the west. Just need more proof.
Go! They're coming."
Who's coming? The ones who attacked you?
"Don't trust them! Only Lyris, she's—!"
Hold on!

Too late; he will collapse and die. Then, one of the guards will arrive demanding answers:

Shield-Corporal Thjol: "You, there! What did that fugitive tell you?"

When you speak with Shield-Corporal Thjol, he will immediately be suspicious of you, calling you a spy. You can either tell him the truth and mention the Icereach Coven or lie and say Brondold died before he could say anything. Either way, the Shield-Corporal will warn you about the spreading seditious stories before warning you to stay out of Solitude business.

After that warm welcome, he will let you go:

Shield-Corporal Thjol: "Go on. Just remember, I'll be keeping an eye on you."
That mark may look familiar

Once he has walked away, you can finally check what Brondold gave you before he died. The mass of bloody notes are Brondold's Papers and they are the only lead you have to figuring out what mess Brondold was involved in. After reading them you have three different things to check on: some suspicious crates at the docks, a meeting with someone at the stables outside Solitude and something left at a cryptic location.

To check on the marked crates, head down to the docks to the southwest of Solitude. One of the crates can be found at end of the dock near Ilfete. When you search inside you will find a hidden compartment and some Ash-Covered Fragments of pottery. If you have previously encountered the Icereach Coven, then the symbol used to mark the crates should look familiar.

"I mean it! One step closer and I'll stick you like a horker!"

The meeting place mentioned in the notes, Wiljar's farm, can be reached by following the main road south from Solitude. When you check inside the barn a frightened Korvynn will yell at you.

Korvynn: "Stay back! I'll do it! I'll stab you!"

She was recently visited by guards asking about Brondold and is wary of you. You'll learn that Brondold befriended Korvynn and asked her to keep eye out for any unusual happenings. The last time they spoke it was about "[...] the men with the job postings. A pair of wolves in sheep's clothing. Trying to blend in, but still rough around the edges. Same with their horses. Sheared mountain mares. Come from the Reach, I wager."

If you ask her to elaborate, she will explain that they were posting fliers around the city for some work in the Druadach Mountains and that they had disguised their Reach horses by shaving them.

The third lead, a hiding spot, is directly across the water to the south of the docks and can be reached quickly by swimming across. Look for a spot where there are some stone pillars near the shore. A hostile spriggan spawns here so you might need to kill it first. In the backpack is Brondold's Journal, which does explain some things.

Brondold and Lyris Titanborn were to meet with Gerhyld, the Queen of Solitude, with the evidence he discovered of something sinister happening in Western Skyrim. He was looking for evidence of the Icereach Coven but his mission in Solitude proved difficult due his status as an outsider. Before his death, he learned about someone who was smuggling items from Sentinel, strange job postings taking people to an unknown location, and disguised Reachmen.

Once you have followed all the leads, you will need to head to the Blue Palace and see if Lyris is still there.

Queen and Titanborn[edit]

Enter Solitude and go to the Blue Palace which can be found at the eastern end of the city, on top of the stone arch. The courtyard will be mostly empty, but luckily Lyris will still be waiting. Just as you inform her of Brondold's death, Queen Gerhyld and her guard will arrive for the meeting.

Queen Gerhyld: "Lyris Titanborn. Your reputation is known even here in the west. Is this one of your famed Companions?"
Lyris Titanborn "No, but I assure you my partner is one of the Skald-King's best. Go introduce yourself, partner."

With no other options, you will need to assume the role of an agent of Jorunn the Skald-King and present the evidence Brondold uncovered. You will learn that Jorunn's sent a message about an assassination attempt by the Icereach Coven, but this warning was taken as a threat by High King Svargrim. While what evidence you have of suspicious activity isn't enough to warrant an audience with the king, it does prove to Queen Gerhyld that you are sincere and she will allow you and Lyris time to find irrefutable proof.

After your audience with the Queen is completed, talk to Lyris, who will be impressed by how you handled the situation. You explain what happened to Brondold and hand her the papers and journal for her to read through.

"You handled that better than I expected. Now, what in Mara's name happened to Brondold?"
He was fleeing pursuit and gave me a bundle of papers before he died.
"Damn. Lucky thing he found you. Brondold was supposed to get the lay of the land before I got here. Without his information, my work for Jorunn the Skald-King could be over before it begins.
What did he give you? Hand it over."
Here's everything I found.
"Hmm. Smugglers and Reachmen up to illicit business. Nothing unusual there, but Brondold thought it could be connected to the coven.
I'm short a good investigator and you stepped into the role easily enough. Can I count on you to help me with this?"
What do you need me to do?
"Brondold mentioned some locals we should have a talk with. A snitch named Greyga who likes to gamble in back alleys, and an Orc named Maugh who frequents the Lonely Troll inn.
Let's find them and see what they can tell us."

Lyris will then accompany you as you go to question the citizens of Solitude.

Searching the City[edit]

Question Greyga at her dice game

Of the two leads, Greyga the snitch is closer to the palace and can found in the alley next to Proudspire Manor, in the middle of game with Birjhan and Carmara. When you ask her about the smuggled goods from Sentinel, she will have no desire to talk to you and will claim not to know Brondold or anything else. There are two ways to deal with this. You can persuade her by saying that Brondold died because of the crate's contents, or you can introduce her to Lyris and her battleaxe. Either way, she will tell you that a woman called Kasalla is picking up the shipments and that she stores them in her warehouse on the docks.

The other lead, Maugh the Orc, can be found at the Lonely Troll inn just inside the main gates. When you enter, Lyris will decide to handle the questioning and approach Maugh:

Lyris Titanborn: "You must be Maugh. I have questions."
Maugh: "Questions? Happy to oblige. Buy a few rounds and let's chat!"
<Lyris unsheathes her axe.>
Lyris Titanborn: "You're going to answer me, Orc, or …."
<Svana interrupts.>
Svana: "Hey! Nobody intimidates my friends!"
<Lyris turns around, shocked.>
Lyris Titanborn: "Princess Svana?"

Turns out Maugh counts Princess Svana among his friends. After the faux pas by Lyris, you instead question Svana about the people putting up suspicious job postings around the city. She will tell you that it was a charming Breton man who picked up around a half-dozen Nord laborers and were bound for the Druadach Mountains. You have the option of asking Maugh for his own thoughts afterwards and he will mention that the Breton's associates seemed to be Reachmen and they mentioned a lodge, and that the location stated on the flier was probably a lie.

After questioning both, you can then talk to Lyris about your next step. Between the mysterious Breton and his Reachmen allies and Kasalla at the docks, she will favor going after the latter first, as the location is known and the smuggler can narrow down the search for the former. When you arrive outside Kasalla's Warehouse, you will find a single sentry guarding the door. When you speak with the guard Huzodir, you get a lucky break as he recognizes Lyris and is a big fan of hers. He will leave his post after you convince him that Lyris will autograph something for him.

Huzodir: "Oh, thank you. Thank you! You don't know how much this means to me."
<Huzodir runs off to collect his scabbard.>
Lyris Titanborn: "I don't know what you said to him, but this is our chance. Try the lock."

While Lyris guards you, you can pick or force the lock on the warehouse door. Being at trivial difficulty, it shouldn't give you much trouble. Once inside, search the three crates which have similar markings as the one you saw earlier. Inside the crates you will find: an Ancient Urn, Ash and Bones and Reach Ritual Fetishes. After searching the last crate, Kasalla will arrive with two underlings and confront you.

A tense standoff
Kasalla: "I knew whoever was poking through our shipments would return. Brought muscle this time, I see."
Lyris Titanborn: "More than you. Care to try me?"
Kasalla: "I'll pass. I just want to know who's been meddling in my business."

Luckily, Kasalla is willing to talk if you can give assurances. In her words, she has no idea about plots against the king and has merely been "facilitating a transaction between treasure hunters and a rich collector.", by transporting antiquities from Hammerfell. When you show her the Reach Ritual Fetishes, Kasalla will become furious as she doesn't deal with the arcane and they broke the deal. She will then tell you that she doesn't know who hired her and the people who pick up the shipments are always different. This time it was a smooth talking Breton. However, she does know that they are taking the latest shipment to a lodge in the foothills north of Solitude.

Afterward, you can talk to Lyris who will summarize what you learned. There is an unknown buyer who is having Reach fetishes and funeral urns transported out of the city, possibly for some kind of ritual. You can then decide to check the lodge while Lyris searches the nearby road.

She will then leave the warehouse, but not before a parting shot at Kasalla:

Lyris Titanborn: "Give your sentry my best and tell him I owe him an autograph."
Kasalla: "Oh, he's going to get more than an autograph if I see him again."

The Abandoned Lodge[edit]

Gorn's Lodge

The lodge mentioned can be found by following the main road south (this cabin is northwest of Solitude) until you reach a fork heading up into the hills. Follow the trail until you see the small building off to the side. As you approach, a vampire called Pentarch Zaros will appear in a swarm of bats and attack. Once you kill him you can enter the lodge and continue your search. While there are no sign of the hired laborers or the shipments, you'll find a letter, addressed to the vampire who ambushed you, on the desk.

According to the letter, some kind of ritual has been prepared and the latest shipment is to be sent to Kilkreath Temple. With this new lead, go find Lyris. She will be further up the road and will call out when she sees you:

Lyris Titanborn: "Over here, partner."

She will be surrounded by the bodies of Reachmen warriors and witches who didn't feel like answering questions. When you tell her what you found, Lyris will be puzzled at why the Icereach Coven would be targeting a temple to Meridia and her followers. When you mention of the ritual she will be concerned and ask you to go to Kilkreath to warn the priests while she tries to talk to Svargrim once more. Before she leaves, Lyris asks you not to take unnecessary risks.

Kilkreath Temple[edit]

From your current location, there will a dirt path going southwest and is a quicker route to the Kilkreath Temple. As you get closer to your destination, an Altmer will run out from the trees, shouting a warning:

Fennorian: "Stop! A disaster has befallen Kilkreath Temple!"

Fennorian is a vampire you may have previously met, and your conversation with him will vary depending on your prior relationship. But the same points are covered: you were too late to warn the priests as an unnatural storm recently hit Kilkreath Temple and the area is now filled with harrowfiends and vampires. This phenomenon is called a "Harrowstorm" by the Icereach Coven. Fennorian would like your help to investigate the area.

Examine the burnt out Witch Pikes

The first step is examining the burnt out Witch Pikes which can be found along the path to the temple. As you approach a nearby cave along the path, Fennorian will point out that there is a surviving priest of Meridia outside. You have the option of stopping and speaking with Priest Isonir and starting the quest Meridia's Brilliance, to help search for survivors. The two quests can be done together and can provide context for the aftermath of a harrowstorm.

When you examine the first Witch Pike you will find a foul-smelling Alchemical Residue:

Fennorian: "An alchemical residue. That should prove useful."

The second Pike will be burnt, with no more power:

Fennorian: "It's depleted. Just ordinary sticks and rope now. Interesting."

When you find the third pike:

Fennorian: "Can you feel the lingering energy? That's Daedric, if I'm not mistaken."

Once you have found all three pikes, you can talk with Fennorian to discuss what you have learnt so far. The witch pikes were likely used as focal points for the ritual and had some lingering energy remaining. As for the Alchemical Residue, Fennorian is confident he can figure out its composition with time. He will then say that a cart of pilgrims left the temple just before the storm hit and asks you to check on them.

We caught up to the cart, but the pilgrims are unresponsive.

Continue following the path and you will find the cart just where the path rejoins the main road. Two pilgrims, Fargord and Melda, survived but are unresponsive husks, stumbling around like zombies.

Fennorian: "Strange. They're alive, but unresponsive. Check the crates and see if they contain the smuggled items."
A grim sight at Kilkreath Temple.

Upon searching the cart you find another marked crate, which contains only Dust and Ashes. Fennorian isn't sure why the pilgrims were changed in such a way, but the only place you can check now is the epicenter of the storm—the temple itself. When you arrive at the ancient Nordic structure, you will find it crawling with harrowfiends and littered with the bodies of priests and pilgrims. You will need to examine one of the bodies:

Fennorian: "These are temple priests and pilgrims. It seems the storm killed them."

When speaking with Fennorian, he will give his hypothesis of how the storms affect their victims. There are three distinct outcomes: it kills them outright, transforms them into vicious harrowfiends, or leaves them shells, practically mindless. Fennorian will need to collect more samples and his alchemical equipment for further research. At this point, if you haven't already searched the temple with Priest Bavian for the High Priestess, Fennorian is willing to wait outside while you do this. Once you are ready to continue, Fennorian will ask you to escort him to where he hid his equipment.

When you reach the spot, Lyris will barrel down the hill ready to split Fennorian in two:

Lyris Titanborn: "That's close enough, leech!"
<Fennorian throws his hands up.>
Fennorian: "Wait! Wait! I'm not part of the coven!"

You have to talk to Lyris and convince her not to kill Fennorian. She willing to trust him due to you and his allegiance to House Ravenwatch, but has more important things to tell you. Namely, she has found one of the coven witches, Sister Ambritt, and if you're quick you might be able to catch her. Sister Ambritt was mentioned in the letter to the Pentarch as the one responsible for the harrowstorm.

As you leave, Fennorian will have a request for Lyris:

Fennorian: "Perhaps I could question the witch before you introduce her to your impressive axe blade?"

Sister Ambritt and a Conclusion[edit]

We need to kill Sister Ambritt before she can summon another harrowstorm.

Sister Ambritt can be found just up the hill, in a clearing surrounded by Nordic ruins. Vampires will appear and attack you on you way to stop her. When you enter the open area Ambritt will appear on top of the hawk arch, commenting on your apparent survival:

Sister Ambritt: "Not even harrowed? It seems the ritual needs refinement."
<She teleports to the ground and summons two Death Hound to aid her.>
Lyris Titanborn: "Kill her before she can summon another storm!"

When you engage in combat, Lyris will assist. Sister Ambritt will be gleeful for new bodies:

Sister Ambritt: "Willing sacrifices? How nice!"
Lyris Titanborn: "Sacrifice? I'd rather give you my axe, witch!"

During this fight Sister Ambritt will mostly use a bow. Her Freezing Leap attack can be avoided if you stay out of the red area of effect indicators when she jumps into the air. She will also summon more death hounds if the originals are killed.

As Sister Ambritt dies, Fennorian will arrive. He will be slightly annoyed that you couldn't keep her alive for questioning:

Fennorian: "I hoped you could take her prisoner. No matter, I found something. This way!"
Lyris Titanborn: "Go with your vampire friend. I'm going to look around here."

Follow Fennorian to the east where he will be examining an altar covered in broken urns of various sizes. He will recognize the urns as the ones from Bangkorai's Unhallowed Grave and conclude that they were used in the ritual. However, he isn't sure what the larger vessels were used for and needs to research further. He might have more information after some analysis. While Fennorian decides not to return to Solitude to you, citing his vampiric condition, he promises he will send word once he has something. He also mentions that he may contact Old Mjolen of Morthal for help.

While you were talking to Fennorian, Lyris will have arrived behind you. When you talk to her she will ask what you found out from Kilkreath.

"So, what did your vampire friend discover?"
Fennorian thinks the harrowstorms create the harrowfiends and the harrowed.
"Reach witches summoning magical storms to create feral vampires? That's horrible, but to what purpose? Well, that's the next puzzle to solve. First, we need to get this information to the queen.
Here. This was for Brondold, but it's yours now."

She will then hand you the dagger Ambritt's Iceflame and some gold.

Quest Stages[edit]

The Gathering Storm
Finishes Quest Journal Entry
(Needs alternate quest starts)
Latest start A Solitude soldier arrived. He demanded that I tell him what Brondold said to me. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Shield-Corporal Thjol
Hidden Objective: Take Brondold's Note
I should examine the papers Brondold gave me. Hopefully, they'll tell me what he was involved in.
Objective: Read Brondold's Papers
I learned that Brondold was supposed to meet someone at the stables outside town, that he noticed suspiciously marked crates at the docks, and that he left cryptic directions to somewhere. I need to investigate further to learn what all this means.
Objective: Meet Brondold's Contact
Objective: Search a Marked Crate
Objective: Follow the Cryptic Directions
Brondold was investigating Icereach Coven activity on behalf of Lyris Titanborn. He was supposed to bring her his evidence at the Blue Palace in Solitude, but he never made it. I should look for Lyris at the palace and deliver Brondold's findings.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
I informed Lyris of Brondold's death just as Queen Gerhyld arrived. Lyris asked me to take Brondold's place and introduce myself to the queen.
Objective: Talk to Queen Gerhyld
I informed the queen about what I learned from Brondold's documents. While she seems to believe us, she thinks we need more proof before High King Svargrim will trust an envoy from Jorunn the Skald-King. Now I should talk to Lyris.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris suggested we follow Brondold's leads. I need to search the back alleys for Greyga, a local snitch, and ask about the smugglers. Then I need to go to the Lonely Troll and ask Maugh if he knows what the Reachmen were up to.
Objective: Search the Back Alleys
Objective: Go to the Lonely Troll
We learned that the smuggler Kasalla accepted smuggled goods at the docks and that a Breton working with Reachmen recruited half a dozen Nord laborers. I should talk to Lyris about which lead she wants to follow up on first.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris suggested we pay a visit to Kasalla's warehouse at the docks below Solitude and see what she's been smuggling into the city before we check on our other lead.
Objective: Enter Kasalla's Warehouse
A lone sentry guards Kasalla's warehouse. I should speak to him and see if I can convince him to let us into the warehouse.
Objective: Talk to Huzodir
The sentry recognized Lyris. Turns out he's a huge admirer. He ran off to get an item for her to autograph. With him gone, I can pick the warehouse lock at my leisure.
Objective: Pick the Warehouse Door Lock
Objective Hint: Lyris Can Replace Broken Lockpicks
Kasalla's warehouse contains marked crates like the one I encountered on the docks. I should search these crates and see what's inside.
Objective: Search the Marked Crates: 0/3
I recovered some strange urns and Reach fetishes from the marked crates, but Kasalla has arrived. She seems willing to talk things out. I should speak with her.
Objective: Talk to Kasalla
Kasalla smuggled the urns for an unnamed collector, but took on additional shipments recently that contained arcane materials. She mentioned that a Breton came by and took some of the crates to an abandoned lodge. I should discuss this with Lyris.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris wants me to go check out the abandoned lodge in the foothills north of the city. She's going to circle around and meet me there.
Objective: Find the Abandoned Lodge
I arrived at the remote lodge. I should look around for clues.
Objective: Investigate the Abandoned Lodge
Hidden Objective: Kill Assassin
The laborers and the shipment from Kasalla's warehouse weren't at the lodge, but I found a letter ordering the Breton to send "the shipment" on to Kilkreath Temple. I need to find Lyris and let her know.
Objective: Find Lyris Titanborn
I met Lyris on the road not far from the lodge. I should speak to her about what I learned.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
While Lyris heads to Solitude to try again to warn High King Svargrim, I need to go to Kilkreath Temple.
Objective: Follow the Road to Kilkreath Temple
I was stopped by Fennorian on my way to Kilkreath Temple. I should talk to him.
Objective: Talk to Fennorian
Fennorian asked me to help him examine the strange witch pikes erected around the perimeter of the temple.
Objective: Examine Witch Pikes:0/3
We examined the witch pikes set up around the perimeter of the temple. I should talk to Fennorian and discuss what we learned.
Objective: Talk to Fennorian
Fennorian spotted pilgrims leading a cart away from the temple before the storm struck. He wants to check that there were no members of the coven hiding among the pilgrims.
Objective: Find the Pilgrims
We caught up to the cart, but the pilgrims are unresponsive. I should search their crate and see if they were transporting any of the smuggled funerary urns.
Objective: Investigate the Crate
The crate was empty except for remnants of dust and ash, but it bore the same mark as the smuggled crates in Solitude. I should tell Fennorian what I found.
Objective: Talk to Fennorian
Now it's time to head to Kilkreath Temple and see what additional damage the harrowstorm caused.
Objective: Investigate the Kilkreath Temple
We found more dead priests and pilgrims near the entrance to Kilkreath Temple. I should talk to Fennorian and find out what he thinks happened here.
Objective: Talk to Fennorian
We need to retrieve Fennorian's alchemical equipment, which he hid within a nearby copse of trees.
Objective: Retrieve Fennorian's Equipment
Lyris caught up with us but thinks Fennorian is a threat. I should talk to her and introduce her to the House Ravenwatch agent.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
Lyris spotted an Icereach Coven witch called Sister Ambritt on the cliffs overlooking the temple. We need to get up there and catch her before she disappears.
Objective: Find Sister Ambritt
We found the Icereach Coven witch. We need to kill Sister Ambritt before she can summon another harrowstorm.
Objective: Kill Sister Ambritt
We defeated the coven witch but Fennorian found something. I should follow him and see what he discovered.
Objective: Follow Fennorian
Fennorian led me to an altar of some sort. I should ask him what he found.
Objective: Talk to Fennorian
Finishes quest☑ Fennorian and I learned a lot here at the Kilkreath Temple. I should talk to Lyris and see if she thinks we have enough to take to the queen so she can convince High King Svargrim now.
Objective: Talk to Lyris Titanborn
* Any text displayed in angle brackets (e.g., <Alias=LocationHold>) is dynamically set by the game and will be filled in with the appropriate word(s) when seen in game.
  • Not all Journal Entries may appear in your journal; which entries appear and which entries do not depends on the manner in which the quest is done.
  • Stages are not always in order of progress. This is usually the case with quests that have multiple possible outcomes or quests where certain tasks may be done in any order. Some stages may therefore repeat objectives seen in other stages.
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